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John Galt
Forward, March
Premium
join:2004-09-30
Happy Camp
kudos:6

Hotspot Calculator Spreadsheet

Click for full size
Overview of the Campground
download!_HOTSPOT_CA···.xls.zip 10,163 bytes  
I have a project that I am working on. It is a large isolated campground located on the coast. This campground is packed from opening day in spring to closing day in fall. There is also a large three acre day-use parking that will be mostly full during the summer.

There is no way to get Internet service to this location since it is 12 miles from the nearest cable and the aged telco plant is not capable of supporting anything other than dial-up. They have tried but to no avail...other than paying for the buildout, which is not financially feasible. There is no interest from other providers to provide service to this location.

Therein lies opportunity.

This is a large campground with a total of 225 RV/tent spaces. The plan is to beam down on 5GHz and distribute via 5GHZ to the three restroom/shower/laundry buildings where it will be distributed on 2.4GHZ. Pretty standard stuff.

As part of this project I have built a spreadsheet to estimate revenues and costs. Feel free to download and use the Excel file above for your own purposes. If there are any issues with that d/l, IM me and I will send it to you by email.


Test Input Data


The items that can be changed are in color...purple for the total number of potential users, blue for the estimated uptake and yellow for the percentage of users who will select a particular plan. Changing those will change the entire spreadsheet to reflect the input data change.

It is this yellow "plan selection profile" that I'd like to discuss...

The yellow numbers reflect a WAG (wild-assed guess) as to the percentage of of people who WILL use the service, and what plan they might select. One might cogitate about this to no end, and the easy way would be to just presume that everyone selects the lowest-cost plan. But I think that is even less accurate than making a WAG.

I have considered the plan rates carefully. The objective is to induce the user to purchase higher-priced plans since not doing so will result in their having to buy more time. It is easier to just pay a dollar or two more to cover any potential time you might use rather than dealing with the hassle of entering your details on PayPal again.

Plan time starts when activated...basically 'use it or lose it'. It should be obvious to the experienced hotspot operator why that is...could be different, but it's not.

In search and rescue there is a process called "matsoning" where the team leader gets the group together, shows you the terrain of the area of probable search, relates the known facts (health, water, experience, weather, etc). Then the members go and, without consulting anyone else, make their best guess as to the presumed route and location of the victim. After a short time the group gets back together and the team leader transfers the individual data to the big map. Clearly a WAG, but interestingly enough, this seems to work often enough to make it worth the effort.

So, if you would, give some consideration to this scenario and assign a percentage to the various plans on what YOU think they might be. Just to make it easy use increments of 10 percent since it's just a WAG anyway and post it like this:

1 - your guess
2 - your guess
3 - your guess
4 - your guess
5 - your guess

The profile shown in the example above might be a one day conference with 100 people in attendance. The spreadsheet can cover various venues.

If you have any other questions about any of this post...feel free to ask.

Finally, there will be another plan not covered by the spreadsheet that will be 7 days for $25, but that caused "problems" in the spreadsheet so it wasn't included.

WAG on, group!
--
No amount of force can control a free man, a man whose mind is free. You can't conquer a free man; the most you can do is kill him. Well, you can try to...



Jim_in_VA

join:2004-07-11
Cobbs Creek, VA
kudos:4
Reviews:
·Metrocast Commun..

Not that I have a solution, but I am curious about what you would charge the campsite manager for offering the service. Signal to him ... and then how is it distributed from there?
--
... need help? »evdo-tips.com/



John Galt
Forward, March
Premium
join:2004-09-30
Happy Camp
kudos:6

In this case I am providing free service to the campground manager and his minions. I expect the campers to cover costs.

So, it goes from Node1 (not shown) at my place to Node3 on 5GHz (magenta) then distributed to Node3x on 5GHz (green) and then to the users on 2.4GHz.

Am I answering your question...??
--
No amount of force can control a free man, a man whose mind is free. You can't conquer a free man; the most you can do is kill him. Well, you can try to...



Jim_in_VA

join:2004-07-11
Cobbs Creek, VA
kudos:4

I'm wondering how you get paid after offering free service to the manager. I assume these are weekender folks. I have a RV site in mind in my local
--
... need help? »evdo-tips.com/



John Galt
Forward, March
Premium
join:2004-09-30
Happy Camp
kudos:6

1 edit

said by Jim_in_VA:

I'm wondering how you get paid after offering free service to the manager. I assume these are weekender folks. I have a RV site in mind in my local

This campground is packed from May 1 to September 30. Even though the spreadsheet indicates 225 users, that is the number of camp spaces. Actual potential devices exceeds that number.

I don't see much difference for your situation with regard getting paid if you have the RV space capacity to accommodate enough users. The manager doesn't have to do anything, generally speaking, since the billing controller takes care of all of that. Users just log on and pay online.

As the spreadsheet indicates, my OPEX costs are just $95 per month.

The key to success is low-cost bandwidth. In my case I am using a commercial account that costs $65 per month for 30/4 with 100/4 if I want it for $199. No issues with the TOS...customer service says this is the specific intent for this type of account. The provider is very stable here...short of a major power outage, they have been great for 6 years.

The controller takes care of shaping, P2P protocol blocking, and I use OpenDNS to deal with various content issues. Each account is allocated 1.5/256.
--
No amount of force can control a free man, a man whose mind is free. You can't conquer a free man; the most you can do is kill him. Well, you can try to...


TheHox

join:2012-05-31

1 recommendation

I'm not too sure I understand how to answer your question per the spreadsheet and values you have, BUT, I can provide some feedback as far as wifi hotspot access I just paid for myself.

I just went on a cruise in the caribbean for a week on a Carnival ship.
They had wifi plans, only for sat internet (aka slower than slow)

1. Pay as you go: $0.75/minute
2. 45 minutes: $29.99
3. 120 minutes $59.99

I can't recall the larger plans, they did have a 250 minute plan and a 500 minute plan I think. I would consider myself a heavy user, also I had business to conduct. I first purchased two 45 minute slots, after blowing through them both, I upped my 3rd purchase to the 120 minute package.

So I spent a total of $120 for about 3.5 hrs of slow sat internet usage on a cruise.



Jim_in_VA

join:2004-07-11
Cobbs Creek, VA
kudos:4

wow, pricey to say the least, and to not get a virus while on board is a plus
--
... need help? »evdo-tips.com/


TBBroadband

join:2012-10-26
Fremont, OH
reply to John Galt

What system are you using for billing/controller?



John Galt
Forward, March
Premium
join:2004-09-30
Happy Camp
kudos:6

1 edit

Pretty much any of the normal hotspot packages will work. By way of example, ARC Wireless has built-in hotspot functionality. UBNT UniFi can do the same...as can others.

What I am trying to avoid in particular is the necessity for human intervention by the manager or such. I have no retail point-of-sale on this project so it has to be automated.



Rhaas
Premium
join:2005-12-19
Bernie, MO

Do you have an idea of what the average length of time a camper may stay at the site?

If the primary use of the area is a campground and not a conference center. I'm not sure I'd do anything less than a day at those prices. I'd do a 1, 2, 3, 7 day time limit. That way people staying 4-6 days will either go for the 7 day or will purchase 2 different time limits.

You don't mention the type of equipment for use in the backhaul from your location to the campground in which the link appears to be at least partially over water. Just be aware of potential multipath and fading issues.
--
I survived Hale-Bopp!



John Galt
Forward, March
Premium
join:2004-09-30
Happy Camp
kudos:6

The maximum length of stay permitted is 14 days. There is no way to know what the churn is. My guess is that most people are on trips and stay at more than one campground along the coast during their travels.

There is a lot of day use there also, so that is the reason for the shorter times. We have had at-length discussions about the pricing and are pretty committed to the rate schedule. Another thing is that Node1 serves another area not indicated on the image. That site is primarily day-use only.

The gear for the PtP will be UBNT NanoBridge M5-25. One end is at 282 ft. and the other at 40 ft. MSL. Path length is 6.63 miles.
--
No amount of force can control a free man, a man whose mind is free. You can't conquer a free man; the most you can do is kill him. Well, you can try to...



Rhaas
Premium
join:2005-12-19
Bernie, MO

Is the entire path over water? The M5 should do OK.

My guess is that You are going to see a lot of 4-8 hour periods in the day use area and a lot of the 24 hour periods in the camping area. However my gut says that you are leaving money on the table by not having a 2-3 day option that would cover an entire weekend.

I say go with it, but keep everything flexible until you can get your own data and adjust from there.
--
I survived Hale-Bopp!



54067323

join:2012-09-25
Tuscaloosa, AL
reply to John Galt

said by John Galt:

There is no way to get Internet service to this location since it is 12 miles from the nearest cable and the aged telco plant is not capable of supporting anything other than dial-up.

What are wireless carriers providing in that area?

Campers are on the move and many go pure MiFi when landed...


John Galt
Forward, March
Premium
join:2004-09-30
Happy Camp
kudos:6

There is cell service, but it is very spotty. You almost have to be in the waves to have a connection.



Jim_in_VA

join:2004-07-11
Cobbs Creek, VA
kudos:4

where is the location?



John Galt
Forward, March
Premium
join:2004-09-30
Happy Camp
kudos:6

said by Jim_in_VA:

where is the location?

Near me.


Jim_in_VA

join:2004-07-11
Cobbs Creek, VA
kudos:4

LOL ok like some other wisp will scoop it
--
... need help? »evdo-tips.com/



Rhaas
Premium
join:2005-12-19
Bernie, MO
reply to John Galt

said by John Galt:

said by Jim_in_VA:

where is the location?

Near me.

I was going to say near a large body of water..
--
I survived Hale-Bopp!


54067323

join:2012-09-25
Tuscaloosa, AL
reply to John Galt

said by John Galt:

There is cell service, but it is very spotty. You almost have to be in the waves to have a connection.

Good, the less selection they have the more valuable your service becomes.

That stated, why not just drop the smaller offerings and just offer a day rate and a weekly rate?


Anav
Sarcastic Llama? Naw, Just Acerbic
Premium
join:2001-07-16
Dartmouth, NS
kudos:5
reply to John Galt

John is in his happy place. You read Hannibal Lector didnt you.

ps. I have an expensive application that can identify points of land anywhere in North America from photos. All one needs is significant points of land and/or bodies of water.
just send me an email here.. anav@langley.usa.mil.gov.paranoid.ufo.stfu.gfu



John Galt
Forward, March
Premium
join:2004-09-30
Happy Camp
kudos:6
reply to Jim_in_VA

said by Jim_in_VA:

LOL ok like some other wisp will scoop it

Actually, that has nothing to do with it.


John Galt
Forward, March
Premium
join:2004-09-30
Happy Camp
kudos:6
reply to 54067323

said by 54067323:

That stated, why not just drop the smaller offerings and just offer a day rate and a weekly rate?

There is no functional limitation to the number of plans that we can offer...so why not offer more plans rather than less?

Day users probably exceed campers by 2X, thus the need to accommodate them.

One of the things that we are considering is this: what is the least amount that we can charge that will induce a customer to use the service? In other words, at what point does the day-use visitor toggle between 'I don't want to pay $5 to check my email/FB!' to 'heck, it's only a $1'...? Once they mentally make that transition, the 'wow, I can get much more for only a bit more' takes hold.

I'll take a committed $1 customer over a non-committed $5 customer any day.
--
No amount of force can control a free man, a man whose mind is free. You can't conquer a free man; the most you can do is kill him. Well, you can try to...



54067323

join:2012-09-25
Tuscaloosa, AL

said by John Galt:

I'll take a committed $1 customer over a non-committed $5 customer any day.

I guess that would depend on the credit card transaction costs you have worked out with PayPal and how well you can automate the provisioning process.

Then you have to add the cost of disputing/writing off the inevitable Pay-Pal charge-backs, which for a buck or two are probably not worth disputing.


John Galt
Forward, March
Premium
join:2004-09-30
Happy Camp
kudos:6

said by 54067323:

I guess that would depend on the credit card transaction costs you have worked out with PayPal and how well you can automate the provisioning process.

Then you have to add the cost of disputing/writing off the inevitable Pay-Pal charge-backs, which for a buck or two are probably not worth disputing.

The process is totally automated and the transaction costs are reflected in the spreadsheet above.

As to the disputes, all traffic usage is logged. If there is any data transferred, they used the service. That said, they are buying a finite block of time which starts when they pay and runs out regardless if they use the service or not. All spelled out specifically on the TOS of the walled garden.
--
No amount of force can control a free man, a man whose mind is free. You can't conquer a free man; the most you can do is kill him. Well, you can try to...



John Galt
Forward, March
Premium
join:2004-09-30
Happy Camp
kudos:6

I found another campground south of this location that has 168 spaces, is heavily used all year and has no service.

Deployment will be less challenging in some respects and more in others, but still doable.